good arrangement will be reached and that a united Polish Government
will be brought into being which will command the confidence of the three
Great Powers concerned, and will assure for Poland those conditions of
strength, sovereignty and independence which we have all three proclaimed
as our aim and our resolve . . .
" We recognise our special responsibilities towards Poland, and I am
confident that I can trust the House not to engage in language which would
make our task the harder. We must never lose sight of our prime and over-
whelming duty—namely, to bring about the speediest possible destruction
of the Nazi power. . . „
" I have every hope that wise and harmonious settlements will be made
in confidence and amity between the Great Powers, and thus afford the
foundations upon which to raise a lasting structure of European and world
peace. I say these words on the Polish situation., and I am sure that our
friends on both sides will realise how long and anxious has been the study
which the Cabinet have given to this matter, how constantly we see repre-
sentatives of the Poles, how frequently and intimate our correspondence is
with Russia on this subject.
" I cannot conceive that it is not possible to make a good solution whereby
Russia gets the security which she is entitled to have, which I am resolved
that we shall do our utmost to secure for her, on her western frontier, and,
at the same time, the Polish nation have restored to them that national
sovereignty and independence for which, across centuries of oppression and
struggle, they have never ceased to strive."
The British Premier had enumerated the reasons why Russia could
6 rightfully ' demand the annexation of half Poland. The first was that
she " alone could deliver Poland from the German talons." And the
second reason was that the " Russian people are entitled to safe frontiers/'
and the third, " that the Soviets had the right to have a friendly neighbour
on their western flank,"
These reasons, however, did not coincide with the ones which Moscow
had put forward. The Kremlin had demanded Eastern Poland on many
grounds., but above all on the basis of the former Tsarist aggression, i.e.,
on the grounds of having at one time gained those lands and held them for
over a century, and also on the basis of the Soviet occupation of 1941.
Churchill, it was to be concluded, preferred to use different arguments,
also from power politics. The reasons put by the Premier as to why
a friendship should exist between these two nations (Poland and Russia)
seemed unusual. " Is it enough to take from a nation half its country to
make that nation experience an everlasting feeling of friendship towards
the aggressor ? " asked the Polish Press.
It is necessary to recall that the Poles had freed themselves without
help from Russia in 1918, and, furthermore, that when shortly afterwards
the Bolsheviks endeavoured to flood Poland with their Red troops, it was
actually this very same British Minister who had supported Poland's
cause against the Soviets ... In his Memorandum of June 26,
1920, Churchill had clearly presented to the Cabinet the existing danger—
the danger for Europe and Britain.*
* Churchill, W. S., "AftermatW\ p. 267.